HomeFamily Findings“Because I Know He Is”: Edith Staats vs. Jesse Pickering, 1838

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“Because I Know He Is”: Edith Staats vs. Jesse Pickering, 1838 — 11 Comments

  1. WONDERFUL story, Chris — and exactly why court records are such wonderful resources. Such a window on the world of our ancestors in a way nothing else often can be.

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    • Thank you, Judy! One of these days, I need to get back down there and dig deeper for the appeal (if it was ever actually filed).

  2. What a great find! It’s amazing the amount of detail that you can glean from court records. And yes, I do read the footnotes!

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    • Thanks, Jo! And it’s a good thing that you do read the footnotes, as it just helped me notice I forgot to close the second-to-last footnote, which put the next line in the footnote instead of the body of the post. I had all kinds of trouble with the WordPress footnote plugin while writing this. It wasn’t playing nice!

  3. What a well-told tale, Chris. I can only imagine the Edith’s pride in her son. And imagine, if the events of that June day had never occurred. You’ve inspired me to check out some potential court records in my own family. Thanks.

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  4. This is an excellent post that shows how using a seldom-used source can provide such an interesting part of our family’s history!! Thank you for sharing this.

    Good for her for not backing down!

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  5. I have a similar court case but it was in the mid 1600’s. Elizabeth SARGENT was born in 1668 in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. “The parentage of Elizabeth is in doubt. She may have been Thomas Sargent’s illegitimate daughter by Sarah Osgood. There was a suit between Sarah Osgood and Thomas Sargent, but the court decided that there was “too much ground for suspicion,” but that the case was not proved”. I don’t know what proof the judges wanted since DNA was not used in court in the 1600’s. I’ve often wondered if this was the basis of the Scarlet Letter.

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  6. Interesting story. I am a descendant from Jan Pieterson Van Husum (Staats name taken at the Oathe of Allegiance to the English). Would you happen to be a descendant of his? Thank you for your response ahead of time. Nancy

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  7. Interesting story.

    I am a descendant of Jan Pieterson Van Husum (Staats name taken at Oathe of Allieigance to the English). Would you happen to be a descendant of his? Thank you, Nancy

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    • Hi Nancy! The answer is…probably.
      Preface: I’ve researched extensively in Delaware, and almost not at all in Gowanus.
      There are two assumptions necessary to get there. These assumptions, while likely, have yet to be supported by any actual evidence (to the best of my knowledge). The first assumption is connecting the various Staats families of late 1700s Delaware to the previous generation. It is widely believed that all of the Staats in that time frame descend from Abraham and Rachel Staats. I happen to subscribe to this theory also, but the only evidence that supports it is negative evidence – there just don’t seem to be any other candidates.
      The second assumption is that this Abraham is the same Abraham that married Rachel Taylor in Gowanus. Again, it’s a theory that seems likely, but nothing, other than many common surnames in both Gowanus and Appoquinimink, on which to base an argument.

  8. It is amazing that even from court records you can get such a feel for a person. Edith was a strong woman!

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